Five Dead After Whale Watching Boat Sinks

Canada sunken whale watching boat tofino

A Canadian whale-watching boat carrying 27 passengers has sunk off the coast of British Columbia, killing at least five people.

A military rescue helicopter and plane were sent to the waters off the coast of Tofino after the vessel sent a distress signal around 5pm local time.

Coast guard vessels and paramedics were also involved in the major rescue operation. One person remains missing.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) has confirmed that five people died.

Earlier, a spokeswoman confirmed there were survivors, and many had been discharged from hospital.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in Britain is “urgently seeking information” on the incident, and said it stands ready to provide consular support to any British nationals involved.

The vessel, named the Leviathan II, was operated by Jamie’s Whaling Station and Adventure Centres.

Must credit: RAMI TOUFFAHA / BURNABY TOURS

Authorities say 27 people were aboard. Pic: Rami Touffaha/Burnaby Tours

In a statement, the company wrote: “It has been a tragic day. Our entire team is heartbroken over this incident and our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of everyone involved.

“We are cooperating with investigators to determine exactly what happened.

“In the meantime, we want to extend our most sincere thank you to the first responders, rescue personnel, and everyone from Tofino and the local First Nations communities who assisted with the response efforts.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) says it will send a team to investigate the incident.

Must credit: Tofino Photography

The Leviathan II vessel pictured in 2013 (Pic: Tofino Photography)

Tofini is a community with a population of around 2,000 people and is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The region is popular with surfers, hikers and whale watchers from across the globe.

Sky News

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